The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)

Over the years, we’ve worked with a number of great organisations to deliver Assessor and IQA training to their staff. One of them, is ‘The Society of Master Saddlers’. Their Training Officer, Mark gave a fantastic testimonial to our course advisor, Ellie, that we just couldn’t wait to share…

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)

“SMS formed in 1966. We are a trade organisation aimed at supporting our members who include craft saddlers, saddlery manufacturers, retailers, saddlery fitters. We aim to promote our trade and uphold standards, welfare of the horse and safety of the rider is at the centre of everything we do.

Originally supporting the saddlery trade in the UK we now have a substantial number of Overseas members.

Saddlery is a very niche and specialist trade. Saddlers and Saddlery Fitters come to the UK from all over the World. Our training, qualification structure and membership categories will give confidence to customers worldwide.

We have been delivering training and qualifications in the manufacture of saddles, bridles and harness for over 30 years and traditional apprenticeships even longer. In the mid 90’s we developed saddle fitting training and qualification, all with the aim of improving the welfare of the horse and the rider. The qualification initially created and delivered in house was then approved by C&G. It’s now a requirement to become an SMS registered qualified saddle fitter. More recently we have added Bridle Fitting and Saddle Flocking to our suite of City & Guilds qualifications.

Most of our SMS assessors are busy running their own businesses and have not been required to undertake training to become qualified assessors although they do of course still need ‘Occupational Competence’, The SMS is now working towards those assessors becoming officially qualified assessors. This is to increase levels of training, ensure standardisation and raise standards.”

What were the main factors that influenced you to choose Brooks and Kirk?

“We found Brooks and Kirk on the internet. We had already made up our mind that we wanted a CAVA Assessors course that was registered with City and Guilds, as all our qualifications are approved by them. It was a bit of a gamble going on the internet, some providers were really cheap, but it was impossible to ensure the quality of their training (and see what certificate was being offered).

When searching for a good quality, accredited qualification, we kept finding Brooks and Kirk on the internet. So, we enquired, had our questions answered and felt reassured that Brooks and Kirk are a good provider.”

How did you find the onboarding process for your learners?

“Very easy, the staff were friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.”

Can you share any results that this training has helped your organisation achieve so far?

“As more candidates are progressing with their CAVA courses, we feel more confident in the level of their training. Our candidates are still undergoing their training but the level of support and clear instruction has been very evident.”

Would you be confident to recommend us to other employers?


If you’re interested in Assessor, IQA, or Tutor training for your business, please give us a call on 01205 805 155 or send an email to